Government Approves 100 Percent FDI of Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel To Become Foreign Company, Government Approves 100 Percent FDI


Bharti Airtel: Bharti Airtel will soon become a foreign telecom company. The central government has approved 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the telecom company. Earlier, foreign companies held a 49 percent stake in the company. Airtel has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange in its return filing.


Bharti Airtel is also allowed to hold up to a 74 percent stake in the company to foreign investors from the Reserve Bank. According to the information given to the stock market, “Bharti Airtel Limited has received approval from the Department of Telecommunications on 20th January 2020 to raise the limit of foreign investment to 100 percent of the paid-up capital of the company.”

A few days ago, the company paid about Rs 35,586 crore as legal dues. It has a license fee of Rs 21,682 crore and a spectrum of Rs 13,904.01 crore. This excludes the arrears of Telenor and Tata Tele.


Mobile service companies Vodafone-Idea and Bharti-Airtel have sought deferment from the Supreme Court to pay their outstanding gross revenue (AGR) of about Rs 92,000 crore outstanding. In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the companies said that negotiations with their government to fix the payment time are going on. The court ordered a hearing after a week.

The outstanding dues including AGR and interest on these companies have increased to about Rs 1.47 lakh crore. On October 24 last year, the Supreme Court ordered these companies to deposit the AGR amount within three months. On January 16, the Supreme Court had also dismissed the reconsideration petitions filed by the companies.

In the current petition, on behalf of the companies, senior lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi, NK Kaul, and CA Sundaram have pleaded before the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde to change the order of October 24. At the same time, it has demanded a hearing soon.

He said that the Supreme Court had given three months to submit the AGR. This period is coming to an end on Thursday. On the other hand, they are also in talks with the Central Government regarding the time of payment. They are not challenging the original issue.

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Vodafone has said in its petition that it has incurred huge losses over the years. If he pays such dues in one lump sum, then thousands of employees and millions of consumers can be affected. On October 24, the Supreme Court had directed these companies to deposit an outstanding AGR of Rs 92,000 crore in 90 days. Also, the court said that non-core items should also be included in calculating AGR.

The central government did not protest

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, did not oppose the companies’ plea. After this, Chief Justice Bobde said that the petition would be heard next week.

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